Bill to Rein in Early Cell Phone Termination Fees

Last Friday, Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), Senator Russ Feingold (WI), Senator Jim Webb (VA), and Senator Mark Begich (AK) introduced the Cell Phone Early Termination Fee, Transparency and Fairness Act. I remember hearing Senator Klobuchar talk about this early on and mentioning that when it comes to technology this is one issue where she gets a lot of calls from people all over the state.

According to Klobuchar’s web site, the new bill would:

  1. Prevent wireless carriers from charging an ETF that is higher than the discount on the cell phone that the wireless company offers consumers for entering into a multi-year contract. For example, if a wireless consumer enters into a 2-year contract and receives a $150 discount with the contract, the ETF cannot exceed $150.
  2. Require wireless carriers to pro-rate their ETFs for consumers who leave their contracts early so that the ETF for a two-year contract would be reduced by half after one year and pro-rated down to zero by the end of a contract term.
  3. Require wireless carriers to provide “clear and conspicuous disclosure” of the ETF at the time of purchase.
  4. Require monthly billing statements to clearly state the pro-rated fee customers would be charged if they terminate their contracts before the end of the next billing cycle.
This entry was posted in MN, Policy, Vendors, Wireless by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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